Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday, Sick!

 I just tested again for COVID and I am negative but will continue.  My cough is horrible. I scared Oliver, and Kelsa coughing and Kelsa kept patting me and saying, "You, okay?"  It was so cute.

My family room is a mess, and I had a whim last night to make cinnamon rolls about 8 p.m.  I guess they are comfort food to me.  They were very good, and I made Signe' take the rest home with her this morning.

Sissie said she talked to Slug and was nagging her about getting things done and Slug blamed Anne (in the Kitchen) because she and Anne had been on the phone for 2 hours, so Sissie wanted Anne's number so she could call Anne and Sluggy would not give it to her.  See what a boss Sissie is.  Anne I would be very careful.

I am going in to finish up a wedding dress and then I am going to bed.  That is, it. Nothing else.  I am done.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday, Thrifty, and sick!!!!

 Here is a picture of the first long tie I have ever made.  It was quite easy but time consuming.  I just followed the directions off a you tube video.  I knew the pieces had to be cut on the bias but there are three exact pieces that are sewn together at different angles to make a tie easier to tie. Now I know why they charge so much for ties.  All the hand work, which I am sure most is done by practically slave labor in third world countries.

You know looking at this picture I see a 2021 calendar ion the wall, oh I do need my Sissie here to organize me. See the iron on tape on the ironing board, where I cut a hole in the board cover.  I do that a lot.  Usually when it is brand new.

Everyone in the family is sick right now.  Signe' has a bad cold, so does Nate. we knew Kelsa was not feeling well Monday.  I started to feel sick yesterday morning and by last night was quite sick.  Had to get up at 3 and take Nyquil.  Had to wake Hub's as I could not get the bottle open, my hands were so sore.  Inflamed from arthritis flare due to cold.  Hubs had me sleep until 11:30 and no customers or phone calls which was a Mirical in itself. I even took a covid test last night and it was negative. So grateful.

Lil sis's house is COVID central, and she just tested positive today for COVID again. As we are always all together and have been off and on the last two weeks, we have to be careful.  Hubs feels like he is coming down with a cold also.

I have a wedding dress that needs to be picked up and another that needs to be done before tomorrow.  When I finally got up today, I stripped the spare room bed and have done 4 loads of wash and the last is in the washer now.  Bedding drying on the line, so quickly as it is 108.

I am having trouble breathing, so lowered the air-conditioner to 73 from 76 hoping that would help.  I know it is just the chest cold. Did get some things done yesterday but not as much as I would have liked as the day continued, I felt worse and worse so did less and less.

Will get in there a finish a few small things and then start on the dress that will be picked up tomorrow.

Hub's is going to pick up his mom in Grangeville on Saturday, so I wanted the spare room nice and clean for her.  This is why I was so worried about COVID as we would not let her come if I had it.  We can stay away from Lil sis.

The mattress pad and one blanket are dry so I can now make up the bed with spare sheets and pillow shams, and I will wait for the other blanket to dry.  Have ai told you how much I love my clothesline?  Are you getting sick of my love? I am not.

But I am taking it easy today as doing things winds me. I might even get this bed made and take a nap we will see.  After all I have been up for 3 hours.

Thrifty Thursday:

1. saved all my spare change

2. saved all my $5 bills, total $830 so only $20 this week for 5's.  Infact a bad week for cash in general.

3. saved a $1, $5, $10, $20 bill this week.

4. fed all food scrap to chickens

5. Ate all meals at home except for 1. (Taco Time for a salad) It was good but boy have their prices gone up!

6. Continued on no spend grocery challenge using things from storage and pantry. This has really helped with freezer space, as I was able to get ice cream and not fight for a space to put it!

7. spent $8.00 on two 1/2 (okay the downsized 1/2) gallons of ice cream at $1.99 limit 2.  Also 4 boxes of the expensive Mac n Cheese my grandkids like.99 a box limit 4. that is, it for groceries

8. eating peppers, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage from garden.

9. Traded eggs for zucchini with a friend.  I think that is what I will probably have to do if I can't conquer the squash bugs.  But I am still trying.

10. Friend gave me raspberries, have been using them in smoothies, and homemade ice cream pops.  Plus froze enough for 2 boxes of jam.

11. sent hubs scouting for huckleberries and he now knows where we will camp and go to get them. A jar of huckleberry preserves is about $12.00 here so I make this for gifts and the family.

12. used coupons at Joanns

13. downloaded receipts to fetch

14. Chose the least expensive place to get gas.  Now down to $4.35 here.  So almost $1.00 from the all-time high!

15. Used items pulled off other bride dresses, to put on others, Pretty buttons, sleevelets, lace appliques. Charged client so I made money.

16. Re wicked candles that burned down with plenty of wax left, so they would burn longer.

17. gave away eggs, to others to help them.

So, all the usual things I do to try and save.  Actually just habits, but they work.

What did you do this week to save money?

My last load of wash is done in the wash machine, and I am going to hang it out and then make the spare room bed and take a little nap. 

Not so productive today, but oh well, maybe when I get up I will feel better.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wednesday, Okay I am doing something...

Okay maybe therapy

 I did set my timer and actually got some things done.  Many things on the list yesterday were time consuming, like the mother of the bride dress that I had to take the sleeves out of and take up the neckline and then take the dress in.  The sleeves had to be hand stitched in before I could sew them on the machine as the were made of a thin tulle and lace.  This dress alone took over and hour.  

Then I had interruptions, like a bride and a couple of bridesmaids.  You know more work coming in, because I don't have anything to do. 

I did get the necktie cut out and pinned together last night so that is my first job for the day and then I can call the bride to pick up.

Setting my timer did help but after 4 hours I thought I would get more done.  I just have to take into account that I don't get to sew and not be bothered by anything.

Hubs is with Oliver today as we will also have him Friday and I refused to have three days of the week taken up with grandkids.  I do have my limits.  Hubs took the truck and 4 wheeler and will go scout huckleberries late this afternoon when Oliver's parents get home. This is an assignment for him as we need to pick this year.

We had eggroll in a bowl last night with cabbage, onions, and also fried green beans from our garden.  My friend brought me a couple of zucchinis as mine is just barely holding on right now.  We are getting tomatoes, so I am making a tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad for dinner along with BLT's.

I have done my daily assault of the squash bugs.  Spraying soapy water on the little buggers when I find them.  Plucking leave when I find eggs. I don't know if it is good thing that I find such satisfaction in killing these little pests....

Okay list for today:

1. finish tie.  The tie took an hour because it had to be invisibly hand stitched to close, so next time you buy a tie, know why they are so expensive. I guess if it had been silk it would have been faster, but it was a light cotton.

2. call bride for pickup after tie is finished that will get 4 things out of the shop

3. alter a shirt

4. line a dress

5. zipper in and hem camo clothes

6. mend a couple of items

7. bridesmaid dress

8. bridesmaid dress alter and hem

9. alter pants

10. start another wedding dress

I am going to set my timer and see what I can get done in an hour and report.  This does seem to make me more accountable, I think, maybe? At this point I will try anything short of a gun to my head.

Is anyone out there having a nice relaxing day?  Please tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday, Motivation needed

 For some reason I just get in these moods where I don't want to get anything done.  Does this ever happen to any of you?

You know when you own your own business you really have to stay motivated.  There is no one there to set your timer.

I did no sewing yesterday, although I had work come in.  Kelsa was a fuss and clingy. But I enjoyed all the snuggles. 

I did get the house and kitchen nice and clean after the kids left, so I did accomplish something.

This morning I used up the last two peaches, and two plums, one banana, and a cup of raspberries to make hubs and I smoothies and they were very good.

Remember that we had to eat the chicken last night so egg roll in a bowl tonight.  Need to run out and check the green beans.

I think the only way I am going to get anything done today is to make a list.  Maybe that will inspire me.  I am not sure if it will work?  Just have such a case of the I don't want to do anythings.....

1. press flower girl dresses 

2. press bride dress

3. make a tie It is cut out

4. hem and put zipper in camo clothes

5. hem pants

6. hem jeans

7. hem pants and alter or rebuild a shirt

8. put lining in dress

9. call bride for pick up

10. take in and hem dress

11. take in pants

12. alter a mother of the bride

13. start on another wedding dress (last August dress)

The September dresses are coming in. One yesterday, one today and one tomorrow, plus the 8 that are already in the shop.  Staying a month, a head seems to help with the flow.  But I think I am just tired of sewing.

I did make a nail appointment tonight so that is something to look forward to, I guess.

Do any of you ever just not want to work?

What do you do about it?

Need motivation....

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Monday, Late post, Kim is tired

      We have the kids here today and I have gotten nothing done.  House is a disaster, but mom will pick them up and I will clean it up.

Another bride dress in today.  And more coming in, in the next couple of days.  It is crazy, I keep thinking it will slow down but it doesn't.

We had a good time with the kids on Saturday, but there were very few food booths, so we ended up eating hot dogs, which when you are hungry are quite good.

Sunday, we did the missionary loop which got us home at 7:30 intime for Signe' to drop off the kids as she had an early day.

Up this morning and made pancakes for the crew.  Grandpa took Schmill's fishing.  Kelsa has a runny nose and is more clingy than usual. So, I am getting little done.  She is finally napping.

I did finish a wedding dress and the two flower girl dresses last Friday.  I am going to steam them tonight and I have to make the father a tie so will get that done.

Tomorrow will be piles and more dresses.

I did not feel like I got any rest this weekend and I hate to start the week tired but here I am. 

I had to get all of Hub's fishing tackle tied before he left, his hands shake so bad now he cannot tie small knots.  We need to teach the grandsons as soon as they are able.

I am making eggroll in a bowl for dinner as I have three heads of cabbage. We are getting tomatoes and lots of peppers from the garden and a small hand full of green beans every day.  Still fighting squash bugs.  Blasted things. I keep thinking we have them and then two more appear and I find eggs.  But I am going to persevere.  They have to get through their season eventually.

Good friend called as we were coming into town yesterday and had us stop by for a gallon of red raspberries.  Great!  enough for popsicles, smoothies and 2 batches of jam later.  I froze most of them.

This is going to be a busy week with grand kids, and I think Hub's mom may be coming by the end of the week. I don't know how long she will stay.

I gots to find me some pep!

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday, Another chart! Paying yourself first!

 On to chart #20.  This is what happens when you spend hardly any money on groceries, and you hang your laundry, and use your ceiling fans, and open your windows at night after turning off the AC.  This is what happens when you downsize from a house that was 3500 sf, to 1600 sf. This is what happens when you conserve water and lower your footprint.  It all adds to savings.  Plus having a bang up wedding season helps. Also staying home and not driving places helps.

Yesterday I ripped three dresses for alteration, two flower girl and one mother of the bride.   I will finish a bride dress today and get these three dresses done and call it a day. 

I have clothes on the line and another load to hang.  I picked enough green beans for a meal and have one cucumber ready.  It is a frustrating garden season here, but it does look like some of our squash plants are looking healthier.

Tomorrow we are going with Signe' and family to Colfax days.  It should be fun.  Lots of food and booths and fun. I just want to get out of dodge.  I really stay home most days and getting out is a dream.

I have a $1000 squirreled away for my next bill to pay.  SO that makes me happy.  I will keep at this until I finish and then try for $6000 in my emergency fund.  Which is three months of minimum expenses for us.

Paying myself first was a hard concept for me to learn when it came to saving money.  I was always for spend everything I earned and what I lacked in earnings use credit to pay for the rest. The concept of paying myself first never came into focus although I had heard it many times.

It wasn't until I got sick and we went through our $1300.00 savings account for one Arthritis treatment that hubs and I decided something had to be done.  Even though we were deeply in debt, we immediately started to have 10% removed from his paychecks and put into and investment account. Then for the next 15 years we took every raise he was given and put it into savings. We lived poorly on the rest.

When I started using charts to track my savings it helped me to see where the money could go.  It allowed me to pay off debt and apply the money specifically to a plan. This has made all the difference. Kinda of like the "Tree in the yellow wood."

Then I started money saving challenges.  Like saving all my change which really made Christmas easier.  We went into less debt at Christmas time.  Then it was adding the penny challenge which again helped with Christmas expenses. Then the $5 dollar bill challenge really paid off! I paid off the house a few years ago with $5 dollar bills.  I have saved for vacations.

This challenge can be hard sometimes.  As I have a set amount of money for things and all my change comes back in 5's.  This can really put a damper on things.  But I persevered and boy did it pay off.

Lastly it has been the 36 dollar a week challenge.  This money goes for a direct purpose.  I know what I am saving for.  It isn't like I am just saving for and unknown something.  With a specific goal in mind, it is easier to stick to the plan.   Like knowing I get to go on a girl's trip with Sissie, Sluggy, and Anne.  Every time I am tempted to dip into these funds, I remember what I am saving for, and I get excited.

These challenges come first before any more money is spent.  Sometimes I run out of cash on hand, and I have to borrow, and I usually do this from the penny can savings, but I always put it back.

Having every penny accounted for helps you realize where your money is going.  I still buy things; I still have fun money.  Last weekend I bought 2 potholders for $2 a piece from an elderly lady.  I also bought a small beautifully made cutting board for cheese and meat from a gentleman. I don't do without, but I do think about how I spend.

I would encourage everyone to have some kind of a savings challenge. When you get paid pay that challenge first.  No matter how small the habit is developed, and it will reap great rewards.

Do any of you pay yourself first? If so how?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Thursday, Beautiful day, thrifty doings

 It is sunny and hot and not a cloud in the sky.  Hubs is out fishing for the day, and I am alone with my sewing machine. I get to look out my window at the small garden where the corn is higher than an elephant's eye. It is glorious.  I am grateful.

Do any of you remember 40 some years ago when our then President Jimmy Carter was handling the hostage crisis?  It was a scary time.

Hubs and I were newlyweds, and we did not have a clue. In the Pacific northwest 1 out of every 4 men was out of work. Gas went from .69 a gallon to $1.20 something.  We all drove big a$$ 8-cylinder cars.  Food of any kind went up anywhere from 25-50%. Hubs was out of work for more than 10 years.

Now he did work some fighting fire in the summers, but the Forest service was always very careful to lay people off before they could collect unemployment.  You could not get any help with food stamps or heat if you were married.  You had to be a single mother for help. 

Now I could always find work, but Hubs could not.  It was a nightmare for both of us.  I remember Hubs applying for a job as a dish washer with three other men and two of them had PHD's.   In our small resort town 3 out of 4 men were out of work.  Hubs went out and cut Christmas trees with a permit and sold them to a Christmas tree outfit.  We also had our first baby.  Why I got pregnant at that time is a mystery to me. I was very, very sick and I had to work.  We could not afford gas, so I walked the 1/2 mile to work and back even when it was just above zero.  We walked everywhere.

Mc Donalds had a contest going.  It was trivia which both Hubs and I are good at.  If you answered the first question right, you got a free soda, then the second question a free fry, the third a free sandwich.  If you missed the second or third, you received nothing.  So, you had to be careful. 

We would spend hours in the library on Saturday's researching the answers we did not know, so we could have lunches out the next week. We moved home two weeks after our eldest was born and lived with either, his or my parents for over a year.  Hubs went to a graduate program in Logging engineering at Oregon state and I stayed with my parents and worked as a waitress.  My parents hated hubs and having him live there was just not going to work.

  He was able to get money to go to school (he already had a bachelor's degree in Fire science Forestry) and then fought fire all summer. We had been married by this time for 3 years and I decided to go back to school; and finish my college degree. There were no food banks, we just learned to survive the next 4 years, while the economy tried to recover. I double majored in History and software eng. Still no full-time job for Hubs.  You had to be ethnic or a woman to get a forestry job. Forest service secretaries were being sent back to college by the government so they could take jobs as they would fill the quota of women working. It was a nightmare.

I learned to be very frugal, and I hated it.  In fact, I resented it. I still look back on those years with distaste. I am just starting to see the blessing they were in teaching many skills.  I see so many similarities in today's world. Now you would think that living through that and knowing how to live frugally would have set me up for financial success, right?

Wrong!!!! I just learned to be very resentful, and I used CC's to live beyond my means for the next 23 years.  I used the equity in our homes to borrow money and paid off my debt only to do it again.  There was never enough.  I robbed Peter to pay Paul for years.  All the years we were raising our girls.  Hub's never made over $40,000 a year. I never took a full-time job and I should have.

I don't reiterate these things because I am proud of them, but because I finally figured out how to become frugal again.  I do think I was always frugal in most ways, but that did not keep me from using CC's to get what my kids wanted, or I wanted.  Finally, after the middle daughter got into college and I was diagnosed with SRA (synovial rheumatoid arthritis) I realized I was going to have to slow down or die.

Something had to change.  I started reading PDF blogs, I read Rhitter's blog first and we are still together, trying to become debt free and we will.  I became friend's' with Sluggy and she was so much help.  She is someone I look up to (well, actually down to as she is shorter than I am).  So many blogs with great ideas in how to save money and not debt. It has been 11 going on 12 years of blogging and learning and perfecting my frugal skills to bring me to where I am today.  Now that I am proud of... 

Thrifty Thursday:

1. saved all my spare change

2. saved all my $5.00 bills now have $810.00 total so $55.00 this week

3. saved a $1, $5, $10, $20 bill

4. only spent under $6.00 for groceries this week

5. ate all meals at home

6. used food from freezer and pantry for all meals

7. used lettuce, green beans, peppers, cucumbers from our garden which is NOT producing as well as I would like

8. downloaded receipts to fetch (I will use points to buy gift cards at Christmas)

9. took neighbor to food bank and received a load of produce that would have been thrown away

10. Used coupons at Joanns

11. Used lace I saved from a wedding alteration to fix another alteration and made additional money

12. found the least expensive place to buy gas

13. made homemade pies for a BBQ and church funeral only bought 1 lb. of strawberries.

14. made extra piecrusts to keep in freezer saves time and money

15. lived in a way that was generous to others as Karma and goodwill bring about blessings.

16. had hubs take car fishing as it uses less gas.

17. took care of neighbor's cats and was gifted 4 jars of delicious jam

18. keeping up on freezer and fridge to make sure nothing goes to waste

19.  feeding food scraps to chickens

What did you do this week to be frugal? Did you ever have years of stupid money habits you overcame?  If so, how? Tell me I am not the only idiot out there....please.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Wednesday, Crap adds!


This is not my stockpile.  Mine would never be that organized.  But boy am I grateful for the one I do have.

It was hot yesterday and I chopped up fruit from the food bank and made a hot dish with canned beans and burger. We will have enough for this evening's meal.

Our grocery adds were above disappointment.  Chicken breast on sale for $4.99 a pound!  Wow what a bargain. Not....

It is so nice to be able to make almost anything and just have what I need right here. Now I did notice that I am out of canned red kidney beans, I do have them dry but not canned.  So, this is one thing I will look for when I find a sale. I just used two cans of another bean for my hotdish.  We are also almost out of pork n beans, so again these almost always go on sale at the end of the summer and I will stock up again.

Having a stockpile, gives me security and allows me to ignore the high prices we are experiencing right now. I just plan my meals around what I have on hand.  Also doing a no spend grocery challenge saves me money and allows me to rotate the things I do have.

It is no use to buy say a flat of canned kidney beans and then never use them. I am all for emergency food storage, but you have to store the things you will eat and rotate the things you will eat. Letting things go stale or bad in the freezer does not help lower the bottom line.

Right now, I can get a bottle (limit 1) of tabasco sauce for $1.  I will go buy that.  Also, an 8 pack of Gatorade for $5.46 (limit 2) I will also buy this. We keep this on hand for our grandkids and the missionaries who stop buy often.  They have been in the hot sun and need a cool pit stop. That's it for the week. Unless I get a wild hair and need something else.  But I will try and work around that need.

I was talking to the people at the foodbank, and they told me the more names they have of people using the bank the more food they can get. Late in the day right before closing, I was given, pears, apples, nectarines, grapes, red peppers, plums, red cabbage, burger, dates, prunes, cheese, potatoes.  All things that would not hold. I got two bags of frozen peas, and ziti pasta, that I use.  This also allows me to make food for others on a regular basis. I took 3.5 dozen eggs to the pantry to add to their stock and they were snatched right away!   I was glad to contribute.

I finished a wedding dress yesterday and the bride will be in later today for me to cut the top layers.  I am going to finish another wedding dress today and a bridesmaid dress.  I also need to start on another wedding dress.  I am trying to get all the August dresses out, and I am almost there.

Well back to the grind.  How many of you have a food storage that you used regularly? 

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Tuesday, Another day another dollar

 Or should I say .50 cents. Gas is coming down here and is now in the $4.50 range depending on what station you buy from.  So, it is down about .80 cents from the all-time high.  When you think about this a 15-gallon tank of gas filled once a week would be 12.00 more. Twice a week, $24.00.  So close to $100.00 a month.  Definitely a budget buster.

We drive more miles out here in the west as everything is so far apart.  However, we seldom waste gas idling in traffic. unless you are in a more heavily populated area. There are not too many of those in Idaho.  

Now gas was about $2.60 here for more than a few years.  It would go up and down with the different seasons, as to make sure and gouge us during high travel times.  But really this is where is hovered.  So, you take $5.30 and subtract $2.60 and you get $2.70.  Now that 15 gallon tank that cost you $39.00 to fill costs you costs you $79.50.  If you drive any distance to work which most do here (hub's commute was 50 miles one way) you can see how a budget was or is blown out of the water.

I could not get my gas card to read last week and I had to go into the station, where I found a mother dressed in scrubs frantically counting out nickels, dimes, and pennies, to get $5.00 for a gallon of gas.  I turned and looked at her car with two car seats, and children in them.  The car was very old and slightly damaged.  She was on her way to the day care so she could get to her job as a CNA.  This is what the gas prices have done to the lower wage earner. I was relaying this story to my daughters when we were swimming at Lil sis's.  Braunwyn immediately said, "Mom, tell me you did something." Yes, I insisted she fill her tank as I was filling mine.  She was embarrassed but grateful.  This would have been me 30 years ago, trying to get enough gas to get to the next school.  Hell, we sold nightcrawlers to get enough gas for the next day. I just told her that her life would get better with work and someday she could pay it forward.

Just having gas come down .80 cents is going to help. It won't be enough, but it will help. Look around guys, see who needs your help, and help if you are able do so.  This is the mother at the pharmacy that turns down the prescription needed for her child because it is too expensive.  This is the child buying a box of macaroni and cheese so they can make their younger siblings' lunch. This is the older gentleman putting back the chips because his card does not have enough money to buy them.  This is the young man trying to get the last 25 dollars out of his account to fill his truck to get to the last job. They are all over.  People who are still just making it but really not making it. They are one bag of chips away from not having enough.   

I of course did not get as much done yesterday as I wanted because .... well, I was playing with Kelsa.  She is so much fun and she will not think I am hysterical in a few years.  Right now, I am the center of her world and that is just kind of a nice place to be.  I am not going to waste these times.

It is take the neighbor to the food bank day today. Which means I need to get busy as in sewing busy. 

I picked the last of the lettuce last night for a salad, and we will not be able to grow anymore until it cools down.  But I also had enough green beans for a meal, and they were so good.  There was one piece of strawberry /rhubarb pie left last night and I ate it about 10 p.m. so it would not tempt Hubs anymore.  See what a good wife I am?  I do things like that for him, because I am a good wife....:)

I wrote this post as I did not want to complain about our gas card.  I said I would not complain about higher prices, because I have enough.  I am not living in Ukraine, our store shelves are full, I can buy what I need.  I told myself earlier in the year I was not going to dwell and complain about prices even though it is a pain. It throws off my ability to pay off the house at a better clip.  But I do have enough. I am blessed. 

I am off to sew and need to jump off this soap box.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are int the negative.


Monday, July 18, 2022

Monday, busy weekend


Doesn't she just look so grown up.  Now realize those sandals are a size 2 and they are too big.  So that is the size most 6-month-old baby's wear. She is a sassy pants, or should I say a sassy diaper.

Hubs and I went to the farmers market Saturday morning and did a little shopping to buy chicken feed.  Then we spent the afternoon out on the river in the kayaks.  So beautiful and relaxing.  Then Saturday evening we went to the kids musical.  We got home at 9:30 after doing our weekly grocery shop, which was 1/2 gallon of milk, 1 loaf of multi seed bread, and a head of celery and 1 pound of fresh strawberries.  Total $5.86.

I came home and made a double shrimp salad and 4 pies.  There was a funeral this morning at the church, and I took in shrimp salad and pies.  I used frozen rhubarb from the freezer.  I also made a huge batch of piecrusts and froze 5 of them after making 4 pies.  Two for us and two for the church.  I had apples in the crisper that needed to be used.  So, 2 apple and 2 strawberry rhubarb.

After church yesterday I went to Lil sis's to swim and took shrimp salad, and pies.  All the food was yummy.  The girls came down with the kids and we enjoyed my Lil sis's significant other's daughter (Shelby)and her family.  It was nice to reminisce about Shelby's mom (Micki)who was my favorite director when I was working for the University.  She passed from breast cancer about 7 years ago.  The fact that Lil sis is now with Micki's widow is just fine with me.  I loved Micki and thought very highly of her husband.  I think it is a perfect fit.

We took Kelsa home with us last night as daughter had an early surgery.  The problem with having such a busy weekend is that I did not even have time to rest or plan the week.  So, I feel a little off this morning.

I have to get into the shop and finish piles I started on Friday and then attack at least 2 wedding dresses.  Hope to finish at least one today. Kelsa has helped grandpa water and is now sleeping on his shoulder.  So cute.

Here is my shrimp salad recipe:  It is very easy!

boil one pound of shell pasta any size.

chop one cup celery in small pieces

chop 1/2 and onion fine (sometimes I use red onion for color)

add a 1 lb package of frozen peas

add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or 1 cup cheese cubed

I use large shrimp with the skins on and boil and peel as I think the flavor is better.  Then I slice them in1/2 lengthwise.  I usually use a 2 lb bag.  (Buy on sale when it is $5 a pound) But any shrimp will do salad shrimp are fine also.

Now mix 1/4 cup milk

1 cup mayonnaise

a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.

salt and pepper

Mix this together and then into above ingredients.  Chill, if salad looks dry after chilling add a little more mayo.  Enjoy.  This is not a cheap salad, but it is delicious and can almost be a meal in itself. 

Well, I had better get to work.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday, another chart! Scary wedding dress!

 Finished another chart.  So that was nice. Did not sew yesterday, just ironed. Pooped around with grandkids for a few hours, made a stir fry for dinner. Miricle grow on the garden and flower boxes. It isn't that I don't have enough work to do, just did not get to it.

I also found green beans in the garden finally.  I am going to have to replace my cucumbers as the squash bugs did them in.  I hope it is late enough in the season that they won't be bothered again.

I had an antique wedding dress come in that was a pretty easy alteration until I steamed it and removed the lace from the bottom to shorted it. I think the dress a had stretched over time hanging and was too long.  Once I steamed it, it pulled up and then I cut it and it was too short!!!!!!

Now when I am working on antiques, I make no guarantees.   Also, once the lace was removed from the bottom the dress started to disintegrate. I immediately put the lace back on and patched where it had come apart.  The lace on the bottom was not the original to the dress, so I went out hunting for lace to add to the bottom.  I found some and explained to the owner what had happened.  I was a nervous wreck, but she was great. She understood and actually liked the new lace better. It made the dress just long enough. I am so happy I make it clear when I am working on older items that I cannot help them falling apart.  I did have to mend and patch a couple of holes in the lace around the bodice back.  But you could not see where I did this after it was done.

I really must sew today and quite messing around.  Even though I was almost done with piles they are accruing again faster than I can keep up.  No rest for this wicked girl.

Lil sis has company this weekend and wants us over for a BBQ.  I am looking forward to a couple of nice swims. I will make a shrimp salad for the BBQ as it is everyone's favorite. Drat! Now I am hungry.

What plans do you have for the weekend?  If so what?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Thursday, Kim is tired, Thrift Thursday

 Kim worked very hard yesterday.  I did get everything done on the cleaning list except the shop.  Surprise! Surprise!

Nathan came down and cleaned the carpet, but the kids also came which threw a wrench into my fast-cleaning plans. But there was no way I was turning down the free carpet cleaning.  We also cleaned my favorite chair that I sit in to do hand sewing.  Then we put it outside in the hot sun.  Boy does it look good.  I had no idea it was that dirty.  SO that was a little extra job not listed that took time. I also cleaned out the kids toybox and took an entire bag of crap to the garbage.

I had stripped master bed and also washed the waterproof mattress pad.  As the bed is king size it can take over 1.5 hours to dry in the dryer.  I hung it and all the bedding on the clothesline and that mattress pad was done in 20 minutes. I love that clothesline. Saves so much money and time.

Hubs also needed someone on the inside to help spot the windows.  I could not believe how dirty they were. He even pulled the screens and washed them.  We were able to get 4 large windows washed inside and out and I could not believe the difference. We still have three more to do but ran out of time.  He is up with Oliver today so we will finish those tomorrow.

Anyway, with all that going on there was no time to set a timer, just time to run to then next thing, like hubs hollering or a grandkid needing me.  But I did get it all done.  Then as it was approaching time to make dinner, I hurried and got the wedding veil done and realized that the shop was a moot point. So, I decided to conquer the ironing.   I did a pile of pillowcases and napkins, then all my shorts, and capris, all the knit items, and couple of Hubs shirts.  My feet gave out at about 16,000 steps for the day.  That leaves me with 17 bouses to iron.  I am going to do those first today and then get into the shop.

I was dead on my feet, but my house is clean!  I am one happy camper. Now just to keep it this way.

Thrifty Thursday:

1. Saved all my spare change.  Did not find any money this week.

2. saved all my $5.00 bills, saved $75 this week total is $755.

3. saved a $1, $5 $10, $20 bill  

4. Kept air conditioner at 74 which is really too cool for me.

5. cooked from scratch and used things we already had

6. used ceiling fans at night to stay cooler at night

7. found gas at the least expensive station 

8. Only bought 2-1/2 gallons of milk and a few tomatoes this week

9. picked squash and peppers from garden

10. used coupons at Joanns

11. used my clothesline to dry bedding and clothes.

12. downloaded rect's to fetch

13. Made an emergency veil from a tulle scrap and a.99 comb took 1/2-hour rec'd $20.00 for my effort.

14. baked scones as a treat and for gifts

15. made popsicles with blueberries and peaches that needed to be used added some yogurt a little milk and a little sugar.  They are delicious. Creamy and lots of fruit berries. Kids love them and I am not buying popsicles.

16. Picked up sleeping bags and pads on a 1/2 price end of season sale for the boys for Christmas.

17. trying to use up lotions I found cleaning.  Lil sis's pool is salt water and dries out my skin. Finally used up one tube.

18.  Used Sluggie's gift boxes for hair dye and makeup. So did not have to buy

19. working on potty training with Kelsa, hopefully we will be diaper free by the end of the summer!

What have you done to save money?  Anything unusual? Anything you can share that would help the rest of us out?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Wednesday, Window washing

 I have Hub's washing window today. As our house is one level and we have very large windows in every room, this is necessary. How do birds poop sideways?  I never can figure it out.  They are like acrobats. Both the dining room and the formal front room have bird decorations on the windows.  So lovely.

Bride came to pick up today and she cannot find the veil she bought.  So, I am quickly making one up today. Add that to the list.

I sewed very hard yesterday trying to get the piles done, but alas I did not get what I thought were 4 nightgowns shortened.  Actually, there are 6 to shorten. I also found three more piles to complete when I started to dig.  Add to 4 piles now the bridal veil and that is my work for the day.  Say nothing about the 12 wedding dresses taunting me from the rack.

I did strip the bed in the master bedroom, and I have the mattress pad out on the line to dry.  I have decided to take a two-hour break today from sewing and clean house.  Why you ask?  (Because you are all so fascinated by my antics, not) Because son in law rented a carpet shampooer and is coming down this afternoon to take it back and offered to shampoo the high traffic areas in the house. Therefore, they have to be picked up and vacuumed. I am not going to turn down free carpet cleaning.

So, I am going to set my timer to 15-minute intervals and see what I can get done in two hours. I have the family room, the kitchen, the master bath and spare bath, the dining room, and dusting the spare room. Then I have to mop all the floors, as they are disgusting

I just do better when I set a timer, it keeps me motivated.  The hardest thing for me is not getting distracted.  I have a tendency to over-do and then make a bigger mess than I started with.  ADHD at its worst. I can stay on task for 15 minutes at a time, most of the time. I think this is what sewing is good for me.  As a pair of pants is a task and I can complete it in a few minutes and then jump to the next thing.  It is the jumping to the next thing before the task is complete that throws me. 

By the way the grocery adds were hopeless.  I mean nothing I would buy.  So, it is just milk, tomatoes, and soda this week and the rest can go into savings.  Also, just got 4 more bills, hospital, power, internet, but I need to get stamps, have to remember that at the grocery store.

Should I make a list?  If I do, I can stall cleaning for a while......  You can see I am just so excited about this, right? Blah!

1. dust spare room 1

2. vacuum spare room 1

3. dust front room2

4. vacuum front room2

5. sweep and dust dining room2

6. hang a load of clothes on line also stopped and helped hubs with windows 2

7. dust master bedroom help hubs with windows3

8. vacuum master bedroom 1

9. scrub master tub3

10. wipe down master bath4

11.vacuum hall 1

12. wipe down spare bath4

13. pick up and dust family room.4

14. vacuum family room4

15. clean all counters off in kitchen

16. wipe down all appliances

17. sweep floor in kitchen

18. mop all floors

19. make bed up in master bedroom when linens are dry.4

20. straighten shop and vacuum

okay 20 things, if I do even three things in 15 minutes, I should be able to knock this out.

On your mark get set go!  Move fast Kim Go Kim Go!

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Tuesday, I got things done, in spite...

 I thought yesterday was going to be a goner, but I got a lot done. With Kelsa here it can be hit or miss. But the older she gets, the easier it gets. Well maybe, sometimes she is in a mood.

Hubs was able to keep the kids occupied and I was able to get into the shop and get almost 3 dresses completely done of the 4 I had to do. About 3 Kelsa needed a nap and I tried but failed to get her to go down.  Her mom showed up between patients and got her down with grandpa.  As I was laying down on our bed when my daughter came, I just decided to lay there for a few minutes. Well, I went to sleep and entirely missed Signe' picking kids up.  I had started dinner and it was done a removed from oven by hubs.  I slept until 7:57. I was tired.

I woke up and was so surprised how long I had slept. Ate some dinner and hubs and I went out for a soda and then back to the grind.  I finished the 3rd and 4th dress and also got a wedding dress done, while I watched TV. So, all in all it was a good day for production.

Hub's is out 4 wheeling today. So, I have the house to myself, and it is quiet, although very messy. I can ignore this until I get enough sewing done. Today it is phone calls, finishing a wedding dress and then the piles.

I am taking care of the neighbor's cats again this week, so I am over there twice a day, loving and petting. I would just rather do that than have her take them to a sitter.  I think it is hard on the cats.  Plus, they can get sick, being exposed to other animals. 

I have pulled things out to make a chicken stir fry this evening and have also made a nice bit of chicken salad for sandwiches. I need to get a few tomatoes and more milk.  But that is it right now. Just trying to use up what we have.

Okay Kim feels a list coming on:

1. finish wedding dress and call second hour

2. call 2 clients for pick up First hour

3. hem a pair of slacks second hour

4. call and hem a pair of jeans first hour

5. hem 3 skirts second hour

6. hem 4 nightgowns

7. hem a pair of pants fix snap Third hour

8. hem two pants and patch 3 others fourth hour

9. alter a dress neckline first hour

10. take in a pair of pants first hour

11.alter three items first hour

12. mend three items first hour

13. put patches on a military uniforms

14. replace a zipper in a pair of jeans third hour

15. fix son in laws shorts 2 pair third hour

First hour I also had several phone calls, sewed a button on a mans shirt, and talked to grandson. 

Second hour finally got wedding dress and all white sewing done

Third hour pants from hell should have taken 10 minutes took almost an hour you never know

 Hub home 4th hour and too many interruptions but still trying to work 

Now many of these things will just take a few minutes but need to be done and out of the shop.  It is getting crowded in there. Kim does not like crowded.  She wants it gone.  I am going to set my timer and get to work.  Let's see what I can get done in an hour. And then a few more.

Then I can maybe hit the house.  Isn't it funny that housework is my treat for getting sewing done?  Okay you all know I am an odd child.  Let's not even talk ironing. The basket is behind me and I think it is ready for attack.

What are you going to do today?  I hope your day is as exciting as mine:)

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, July 11, 2022

Monday, 30 bags later....

 Let Lucy (alias Kim) splain why she does not want to get involved with the civic theater.  They take advantage of your good nature.  Or they take advantage of your bad nature.

My girlfriend who was playing the fairy Godmother in Cinderella, lost her mom (who, was a good friend of my mother) two days before the show closed. She is a true professional and the show went on.  I took in almond cakes for the funeral as they were her mom's favorite.  At that time, she revealed to me that she was in charge of the children's theater program for the summer, and they were doing Newsies.  She asked if I could whip up a few newspapers, bags. She also said she had a lot of moms who could help.  Of course, I was not going to say no at that time.  But I should have guessed. Sewing or doing anything for the theater is like having a baby.  You forget the labor part after a few years and just remember the baby.

When we got home last week from dropping off the boys, she txt me that she had fabric did I want to pick it up?  They open the end of this week.  I told her she could drop it off at my place.  See Kim forming boundaries.  I was not here when the 4 bolts (yes 4 bolts) of fabric were dropped off. I txt to find out how many and she only needed 30 of them....  Only 30! What happened to the mother's that were going to help?  I did not have time to even look at the material until Saturday and I was pissed.  Pissed at myself for saying I would help. Pissed that I fell for the lots of mothers to help scenario. Pissed that my weekend would now be fraught with bag making.

Actually, I did 17 of them (no lettering was required) on Friday night.  Then I did 7 Saturday morning, and I did the last 5 on Sunday after church. I also kept her up to date through txt where I was on progress so she would not worry.  When I contacted her that I was done, she said she could pick them up or I was welcome to drop them at the theater Monday afternoon.  No way am I going close to that theater at the beginning of hell week.  I asked her to pick them up.  I mean it if you give and inch you get to make 30 bags in two days.

 Okay I got that off my chest in a very unchristian way.

As my goal is to not buy any groceries this month, I have had to remind myself as I start to peruse Ibotta and the sale adds.  I did run into a store and got a 1/2 gallon of milk and that is it!

I made blueberry scones, and orange and cranberry scones this weekend for a treat.  I am trying to use up frozen peaches and blueberries I pulled from the freezer.  Schnills and I made popsicles, with the last of the yogurt, blueberries, and peaches. I also made blueberry pancakes this morning.

Cleaning out the large freezer showed me what we need to eat.  I did manage to get a bag of fish eaten and I pulled out a large bag of chicken hand quarters to cook up today.  I will do several things with them.  I plan on eating a bag of fish every week until it is gone.  Also, I found more apple sauce than I thought we had so I need to incorporate that into meals so plan on using a bag of that a week. It's all about using what we have and not spending any money.

I have 4 bridesmaid dresses to do today and some piles, plus I need to start another wedding dress or two.

What plans do you have for the week?  

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Friday, July 8, 2022

Friday, Thanks for the advice!

 Thanks for the input on my financial future. I have decided to try and up my emergency fund to $3000. So, after completing my goals for the month all left over will go to that.

I had a bride pick up and I have had two more second fittings so those can be finished next week.  Five more bridesmaids to do and of course the piles.  I was able to get a few piles done late yesterday afternoon.

I also was inspired to clean out my freezer by Chef Juls Owings.  The fact that Kelsa is here and not allowing me to get much sewing done, but she would allow me out in the garage. So, I emptied and took inventory of the freezer.  Found some things that need to be used and put them out.  I had individual peach cups and some blueberries that I will use in smoothies and muffins.  Also, we have some fish that needs to be eaten this month. We also have plenty of applesauce left that was at the bottom, so we will work on that before I am doing applesauce again. I found some ground pork sausage and I thought I was out.  Now I just have to incorporate it into meals.

I will do the fish up in my electric skillet.  I actually cook it a way they do in Sweden with butter and cooking wine.  You boil it and it is delicious. Cod cooked this way actually tastes like lobster.

I actually looked at my June goals and I had done them all!  Then put-up new ones for July.  I just want this to be an easy sewing month, with lots of kayaking and walking.  No grocery shopping unless it is an absolute need or an incredible loss leader.

Kelsa is asleep now, so I am going to sneak into the shop.  Had a bride come yesterday for a bustle and when she tried on the dress it was way too big in the top, she left it, but is getting married next week.  Also just got a call from another that is getting married the 26th and she is coming in Monday.  So, you can see why I wanted all dresses for July done and out.  As I am now working on August dresses, and I have been hit with 3 July dresses this week.

I need to pay the rest of the months bills and get out all graduation cards. It is always something.

What are you plans for the weekend?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, July 7, 2022

Thursday, Let's talk finance!

Well this is a money saving blog after all, kind of turned into a Kim's life blog. I hurriedly paid all the important bills before we left and now need to pay all the little bills. Since I paid off Hub's hearing aids and a couple of other smaller bills I had, I now have more money in the old budget to attack the house loan.

So, it is time to do a reset of the old finances. We have the truck loan, but it is frozen at 2.1%.  The house is sliding and is going up as the interest goes up.  We knew this when we took it out. But as it is a smaller loan than many have on a new truck, I am not worried about paying it off.  I don't like paying interest, and I certainly don't like the fact that it may go up more, but I can handle the payment and then some, so I am fine.

Kim is at the point that she is enjoying her life as she works her tail off, and I refuse to live in fear.  But I will live in frugal.😁

The new goal is to go back to paying $1000, more a month than is needed on top of all interest, therefore making the loan go down 1000 dollars a month.  This was put on hold for the last little while. But now I feel like I will try this for a few months and then see where we stand and add more to it.

I have so far this year been able to save enough to:

1. pay for a long cruise (the tickets). $6000

2. pay for Hub's hearing aids $3000

3. pay house taxes $1600.00

4. reboot my emergency fund $1000

5. many other smaller bills and gifts from $50 to &800 accordingly.

6. fly to my nieces wedding including gift $1500.00

Now I could have put all of that on the house, but I am enjoying life remember?

I am also saving lots of smaller amounts of money for my next trip which is a girl's trip to Florida.  I have over $600.00 in fives saved so far and also $432 in my $36.00 a week envelope, so over a $1000 and I figured the trip besides the plane ticket, which I can get with points will be about $2000 max.  I am halfway there. Realize I have saved that money since the first of May as I had used all my $5 dollar and $36 dollar envelope money to go to my niece's wedding. So not bad for a little over 2 months.

I know there is more money in the budget than I accounted for, and not more bills as I have always had in the past.  But Kim before in her horridly) ADHD manner would run full steam ahead overpay debt and not have enough to live on and then debt again. I will see what is left over at the end of the month and then decide where to put funds. No more jumping in before I know. We also have to have some major work done to the sprinkler system and I will try and cash flow that.

Have any of you made changes to your budgets?  What are you doing? Would you pay off debt before saving a three-month emergency fund instead of just $1000? I am debating this in my mind.

Thrifty Thursday!

1. saved all my spare change, and I found .87 cents over the last two weeks

2. saved all my $5's.  Now have $680.00 so $105 in the last 2 weeks.

3. saved a $5, $10, $20 bill

4. added $61.18 to my penny saving bank

5. added $1000 to my emergency fund

6. paid off plane ticket I bought for niece to fly home for baby's funeral, also paid for plane ticket for another niece that needed to get home.  Call Auntie Kim when desperate.

7. Went camping and used almost all foods from storage, so no big grocery bill.

8. found least expensive place to get gas when traveling

9. did not eat out at all while traveling, just brought snacks.

10. Stopped on reservation for fireworks, they are much, much cheaper and probably illegal. :)

11. Bought loss leaders at Albertson's that is it.

12. Kids left a ton of food at our house from their holiday celebration (they stayed here while we were gone) So we have been eating that up.  It is good stuff too!  Not things I would typically buy.

13. Picked enough rhubarb and processed enough for 6 pies free at MIL.

14. Was able to purchase several cute outfits for my brother's oldest daughter for back to school.  I will send the girls boxes in August.  I was able to get 3 dresses and 4 pairs and pants and socks for $42.00 at Fred Meyer in Twin Falls. It was a great, great sale.

15. picked up buttons for bustling wedding dresses at Wal mart where they are 1/4 the price.  I always buy them out and then re check to see if they restock.

16. Picked our first squash from the garden and replanted lettuce seed. We will have more squash soon and peppers!

17. Hub's sprayed the apple tree so we will have plenty for applesauce and pies this fall.

What have you done to save money the last little while?

Anything different?  Anything I could use to also save?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Wednesday, Lots to tell you!

 Before I forget, just wanted to post that I completed another chart before I left with the boys to go camping.  Now I am back home, and I have no idea where I stand at any point in my life.  Like the shop?  Or the house?  All is topsy turvy in the old brain.

Where am I in life?  I am not sure.  I did manage to get the important bills paid before I left and that is it. So, I am not worried about late fees.

We took all three boys, Daniel, James and William camping one night and they had so much fun.  It was so much work for one night and the next time it will be for several nights.  But they loved the fire and the tents, and the sleeping bags.  Daniel rode a lot on the 4 wheeler with Grampa.  Nate joined us for the day with his machine and the boys all spent several hours out riding.  I had Kelsa back at camp.  Everyone was very dirty when we got home.

I had the boys all make their own foil dinners.  I had Danny peel the potatoes and carrots and then I cubed everything and had them each put a little onion, carrots, potatoes, peas, burger, salt and pepper, and a pat of butter in their foil and then wrap it up and stick it on the coals.  They ate every bit and said it was wonderful.  Now If I had cooked it, they would have picked at it.  But because they were responsible, they thought it was great.  They al so went through a huge bag of marshmallows in one evening.

Now it does not matter if you camp for one night or 5, you still come home with the same amount of laundry.  When we got home late Thursday, I had enough daylight left to deep clean the car, which was a disaster and then continually do 5 loads of laundry. Hubs put all the camping gear away.  We were tired.

Up the next day to drive the 5 hours to Nampa and pick up hub's mom. we had planned on driving straight through another 2 hours to Twin Falls but got a call from Hub's sister that mom had taken a bad fall and was at the emergency room.  They had glued and butterflied her eye, but her blood pressure would not stabilize, and they did not want her traveling until it did.  So, we stayed the night at her place and continually took her pressure until we thought she could travel the next day. The boys were upset as they wanted to get home for certain things, and I told them to complain as much as they wanted and get it all out because once we hit grandma's they were to say nothing and go in the house and kiss her and be happy.  And the little buggers did just that.  Good kids.

We took off about noon on Saturday and got to Twin falls.  Mom slept almost all day there and we only got her to eat a little ice cream and ginger ale.  But Sunday she was back to her old chipper self.

She insisted on going to church Sunday, and all we could say about her appearance is, "You should have seen the other guy."

We had a wonderful 4th with lots of great food and fireworks.  Daughter was on call, so she had a rough day with accidents and highway patrol calls. Coaching officers through what to do in situations, all gruesome.  When we went to leave Tuesday morning, I found her in bed, and I asked her why she was not at work?  She was woken up at 2 by and officer, that came to get her and then she had to produce a search warrant and did not get back home until 5.  So, she was sleeping in. 

We took mom home and alerted the neighbors about her fall. She has a retired EMT on her right and a retired policeman on the left and a sister's son across the street, so many people to watch her.  However now they will watch her more closely. She does not want to give up her independence. I can't blame her.

We got home about 5 last night, and I have unpacked and sort of got the house back in order.  But the shop is calling, and I have to get in there.  I also brought home a large bunch of rhubarb to process, which I don't know when I will get done.  Right now, it is the shop.

By the way grocery adds are crap. And I am now implementing a no spend challenge on groceries.  The freezers are full, and I need to eat them down. I also need to clean out the small chest freezer in the garage.  I need to find what is lurking at the bottom, so there is no waste.

Hubs wants to take out the kayaks tonight and I told him NO!

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.